Golf ball-sized hail stones hit Barossa producers months before harvest

Image: Courtney Flynn

Yesterday afternoon, South Australia was hit by a massive storm front which brought high winds and large hail stones, some the size of golf balls, to local wine regions, Harrison Davies reports.

Producers in the western and central parts of the Barossa Valley were hit the hardest; with some reporting a 70 per cent loss in product.

The storm front caused damage to both the vines as well as properties in Tanunda and throughout the region.

South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) president Nick Waterman said the storm was different from those weathered by the area in the past.

“Firstly it’s devastating for growers who are already facing a challenging market,” he said.

“Areas around Tanunda and Seppeltsfield were hit particularly hard and some of those vineyards could lose as much as 70 per cent of their product.

“Areas further south like Angaston and Lyndoch were not hit quite as hard but some are still looking at a loss of about 20 to 30 per cent.

“It’s hard to put an exact number on the damage because many of the grapes were still only flowering and harvest is still a few months away.

“The Adelaide Hills was also hit by the storm but was relatively unscathed.”

The main street of Tanunda in the Barossa Valley was flooded by heavy rain and thousands across the Adelaide metro area and Adelaide Hills were left without power until this morning.

The Seppeltsfield winery also reported that its main office was flooded by the storm.


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